You should incorporate plant or animal-based foods to keep the levels of dietary iron high. Iron is an essential nutrient that produces hemoglobin. Health experts have revealed that hemoglobin helps red blood cells to take oxygen to each organ.
Moreover, iron is also a component of myoglobin same as hemoglobin which is found in the muscle cells. It is worth noting that iron deficiency or anemia is dangerous as it leads to sudden fatigue.
Although there are supplements available to treat anemia, you can obtain iron from various food sources to avoid adverse effects. Vegans or vegetarians can opt for plant-based foods to maintain iron levels in their body.
Nutritionists recommend 8mg of iron per day to men whereas the iron requirement for women is about 18 mg per day. You should know that anemia is quite common in children and adults. Therefore, you need to incorporate the following foods in your diet as they are rich in iron.
13 Top Foods That Are Very Rich in Iron
A plate of freshly cooked lentil provides up to 3.5 mg of iron. You can even add broccoli or other vegetables to make a nutrient-dense meal. Consuming any kind of lentil is beneficial as it contains polyphenols which ultimately reduces the risks associated with cardiac arrest. Health experts suggest that if you consume lentils thrice a week, your risk of developing anemia decreases.
Tossing chickpeas in your salad bowl or munching a handful of roasted variety provides 5 mg of iron. Incorporating chickpeas into your diet maintains iron levels in children and adults. If you prefer vegan options over animal-based foods, you should consume chickpeas at least twice a week.
You should not overlook the significance of raisins when opting for iron-rich foods. 1/3 cup of raisins contains a considerable amount of iron. This dried fruit can become a healthy afternoon snack option, which provides B vitamins and potassium along with iron.
4. Baked Potato
Obtaining sizable amounts of iron via side dishes seems a unique idea. Potato is a nourishing food source if you do not overload it with sour cream or butter. Baked potato with moderate spices and olive oil make a healthy snack as well. It contains over 3 mg of iron. Plus, consuming only one big-sized potato keeps you full for hours and facilitates digestion at the same time.
Spinach goes well with several recipes. You can even top off your pizza with baby spinach. It is one of the versatile leafy vegetables that should be stored in your refrigerator 24/7. One cooked serving of any type of spinach provides 6.5 mg of iron. You can also obtain adequate levels of potassium and calcium from spinach, which your body needs on a daily basis.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
Have you ever thought why nutritionists always emphasize incorporating several seeds into your diet? Seeds like pumpkin seeds are loaded with iron. You can obtain around 3 mg of iron from 1/3 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds. So, do not forget to purchase some good quality pumpkin seeds during your next grocery shopping trip.
Vegans or vegetarians often look for food sources rich in iron to maintain its levels in the body. This plant-based iron source is ideal for everyone. Cashews can make a great snack option and you can add some to certain recipes as well. Take note that only one ounce of cashews contains around 2 mg of iron along with many other nutrients. However, be careful with the quantity as cashews are a high-calorie source.
8. Dark Chocolate
You must be familiar with the saying – everything works best in moderation. The same is applicable to dark chocolate. This delicious food source is loaded with 3.4 mg of iron. It is quite surprising that consuming a dessert benefits your health. Do not forget to read the ingredients and make sure the bar offers 70 to 80% of cocoa and only 8 grams of sugar to make the most of your chocolate. You can find various organic dark chocolate varieties which are packed with numerous health benefits.
9. Canned Tuna
6 ounces of canned tuna contains 2.5 mg of iron. If you opt for tuna packed in water instead of oil, you will likely consume fewer calories. The best way to consume tuna is to add it to salad, soup, or sandwich. Nutritionists reveal that you need to consume at least two servings of canned tuna in a week to prevent the risks of anemia.
Many people cannot consume red meat due to allergic reactions or other health ailments. In this case, seafood can become an excellent alternative. It is lower in saturated fat and high in iron. Munching on only six oysters can provide 4 mg of iron along with zinc and magnesium. Although oysters are a low-calorie food, you need to avoid over-consumption of the seafood to steer clear of adverse effects.
11. Beef Liver
If you are a fan of meat and are not prone to allergic reactions, you should consume beef liver to get 4 mg of iron. A cooked slice of beef liver also provides vitamin A, vitamin D, along with 33 International Units of vitamin D.
Beef liver contains around 130 calories – so, consuming it twice a week is enough to obtain iron without gaining excess body weight.
12. Red Kidney Beans
One cup of red kidney beans contains 5 mg of iron which is ideal to fulfill iron deficiency. And, if you do not have an iron deficiency, consuming kidney beans balances iron levels in your body.
It provides 15 grams of plant protein and keeps you full for longer hours. You should also incorporate white beans along with other legumes such as lentils, beans, or chickpeas to promote the production of red blood cells in your body. This way, you will keep anemia and symptoms associated with it at bay.
A big bowl of oats in the morning is more than you think. Oats are known to provide a sizable amount of dietary fiber which protects against cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, and obesity. Do you know oats are loaded with iron as well?
Only one cup of cooked oats contains 3.5 mg of iron and prevents the risks of anemia without hurting your health. You should add dried fruits along with banana, apples, or strawberries to prepare a nutrient-dense meal for breakfast.
Iron deficiency contributes to several health disorders, which can be threatening. You should incorporate iron-dense food sources into your diet to prevent the risks of anemia. However, in case of an iron deficiency, you should consult with your doctor to get the right treatment and refrain from self-medication.